Tragedy has struck the world again this week, this time in Scotland, at the T in the Park Music Festival that was held at Strathallan Castle in Auchterader, where it was moved to from last year’s celebrations due to safety concerns. According to Pitchfork, two people died at the festival from unexplained deaths, as police investigations reported so far. A man and a woman died seperately on the first day of this enormous festival that holds more than 80,000 people.
T in the Park Music Festival was founded in 1994, and named after its main sponsor, Tennents brewing company. Originally held at the Strathclyde Park in Lanarkshire, but moved to the unused Balado airfield in Kinross-shire from ’97 until 2014. The festival began as a two day event that later had to become a three-day event in ’07 due to its massive popularity. The celebration has been tallied at its busiest with over 250,000 guest that include almost 80,000 campers, making it one of the biggest festivals in the world. It host music from all over the spectrum, with rock bands, DJ’s, pop artists, and indie groups, everyone can find something they enjoy listening to at this festival.
However, two guest’s experiences were tragically cut short on the first day of the event this year. According to The Guardian, police reported that both victims (male and a female) were 17 years old, the male came from West Scotland and the female came from North of England. As of now the deaths are not considered to be linked, and at this stage are not believed to be suspicious. Police Scotland’s gold commander for the festival, Ch Supt Angela McLaren, said: “We are continuing to investigate these deaths and are following lines of enquiry, including the possibility that they may be drug related. I would remind all persons attending the festival that there is no safe way of taking drugs.”
Director of the festival Geoff Ellis stated via BBC “We are shocked and saddened by today’s news and our thoughts are with the families and friends at this time. We are offering our full support and assistance.”
This is not the first year that there have been deaths at this overwhelmingly large festival. In 2015 a 36-year-old man was found dead in the bathroom stalls, and in 2010 a man at the age of 24 collapsed and died during one of the festival nights.
The festival is still experiencing dangerous situations, a short brawl broke out after gates had opened where bare-chested men began fighting each other as onlookers screamed and paniced
T in the Park organizers are continuously trying to prevent situations like these happening, warning guests on regular basis to stay away from foreign substances being sold or given out, and tightening security, but unfortunately with such a large turnout of people everyday, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep the safety and peace. Hopefully the festival will learn from its mistakes and try to cap the attendance in order to increase the opportunity for safety and security.
Update 07/13/2016: According to NME, the police identified one of the deceased in the two deaths that occurred last week. James Richardson, 29, was the male identified who was found near the nearby village of Forteviot early Tuesday morning.
Police also identified the two 17-year old victims who died at the festival site. Megan Bell and Peter MacCallum both suffered drug overdoses, according to reports, in two separate incidents. This issue has led police and festival organizers to issue a warning over a dangerous batch of green “Rolex” ecstasy pills that are thought to be circulating around the festival.
Police are still continuing their investigations, one of which is an alleged rape of a teenage girl at the T in the Park festival that took place on Thursday night.